Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, Makhadzi, Shona Ferguson and Thuso Mbedu honoured at GQ MOTY Awards

Theo Baloyi, Noma Mbedu, Nick Boulton, Lesedi Matsunyane-Ferguson, Sipho Hotstix Mabuse and Laduma Ngxokolo after being honoured at the GQ South Africa Men of the Year Awards. PICTURE: Supplied
Theo Baloyi, Noma Mbedu, Nick Boulton, Lesedi Matsunyane-Ferguson, Sipho Hotstix Mabuse and Laduma Ngxokolo after being honoured at the GQ South Africa Men of the Year Awards. PICTURE: Supplied

Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, Makhadzi, Shona Ferguson and Thuso Mbedu honoured at GQ MOTY Awards

By Buhle Mbonambi  Nov 28, 2021

Artists, humanitarians, innovators, athletes, designers, comedians and entrepreneurs gathered at a celebration of 2021’s cultural high points – the GQ Men of the Year Awards.

Now in their third year, GQ South Africa marked the 2021 GQ Men of the Year Awards last night at the Four Seasons Hotel, The Westcliff, in association with Hennessy V.S.O.P. Privilège.

They were co-hosted by GQ South Africa Editor-in-Chief, Molife Kumona, and broadcaster, Claire Mawisa.

Guests enjoyed performances by Siki Jo-An, Kenyan superstars, Sauti Sol and as well as the Hennessy Lifetime Achievement award recipient, the iconic Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse.

The GQ Men of the Year Awards have become one of the most important signifiers of a persons impact in the year. Unlike the Best Dressed Awards, which award personal style, the Men of the Year Awards are all about celebrating those who have made an impact in society, whether they are public figures or not.

Affectionately known as “MOTY”, they are a prestigious award ceremony recognising the most intelligent and inspiring men and women who shape our cultural landscape. The award recipients are people who are exceptional, impactful, inspired and inspirational.

Insider spoke to GQ South Africa Editor-in-Chief, Molife Kumona ahead of the awards.

It’s the third year of the GQ Men of the Year Awards. How much of an impact do you believe these awards have had?

I think the awards have had a significant impact in awarding and recognizing people who have had an impact on culture in different industries and have also been inspirational to their peers and others. They are important because they serve as a platform to give accolades and respect where due, and also to highlight inspirational journeys that others will resonate with and be motivated by.

I think I can safely say in the 22 years we have been around as GQ, the 2021 Men of the Year has shown how diverse we are not only as a brand in who we showcase and celebrate but also how diverse the people who shape culture are. All the people we honoured are the epitome of excellence, inspiration, groundbreaking and shapers of culture.

Molife Kumona, GQ South Africa Editor-In-Chief. PICTURE: Supplied

How was the selection process this year compared to previous years?

I think this year was more difficult because South Africans keep on raising the bar, so choosing outright winners was a very tough job for the judges. 2021 has been an exceptional year. While we were still manoeuvring a pandemic there have been a lot of significant cultural moments and a group of individuals who have excelled and inspired.

Have there been interesting individuals whose stories have surprised you?

Yes, the story of Danny Diliberto who founded Ladles of Love who was the Humanitarian of the Year in 2020 really moved me and many other people. His passion for feeding the homeless and less privileged really touched us. He makes one want to do more as a human being.

What do the men and women who are being honoured at the GQ MOTY have in common?

Their audacity to believe in their passion and careers despite setbacks and their need to make it not only about themselves.

Here are the winners of the GQ Men of the Year Awards 2021

Entertainer of the Year – Makhadzi

Musician of the Year – Focalistic


Humanitarian of the Year – Kolisi Foundation

The Kolisi Foundation. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Editor’s Special Tribute – the late Shona Ferguson (accepted by Connie Ferguson)

Shona Ferguson. Picture: Instagram

The Game Changers of the Year – Kgothatso Montjane and Tatjana Schoenmaker

Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa celebrates with her gold medal. Picture: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Designer of the Year – Laduma Ngxokolo

Laduma Ngxokolo

The Industry Icon of the Year – Nick Boulton

Woman of the Year – Thuso Mbedu

Thuso Mbedu. Picture: Twitter

Sportsperson of the Year – Ntando Mahlangu

RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto/Shutterstock (12378008ed) Ntando Mahlangu from South Africa winning and beating the world record at Longjump during athletics at the Tokyo Paralympics, Tokyo Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan on August 28, 2021. 2020 Tokyo Paralympics – Day 4, Japan – 28 Aug 2021

The Standard Bank Business Leader of the Year – Theo Baloyi

The Hennessy VSOP Privilège Lifetime Achievement Award – Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse

Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

This article was published in Sunday Insider on Nov 28, 2021

GQ Man Of The Year 2021: The Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Lifetime Achievement Award – Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse

GQ Man Of The Year 2021: The Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Lifetime Achievement Award – Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse
GQ Man Of The Year 2021: The Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Lifetime Achievement Award – Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse

Introducing GQ’s Men of The Year 2021

GQ South Africa | November 27, 2021

The third annual GQ Men of the Year Awards in association with Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège took place at the Four Seasons Hotel, The Westcliff in Johannesburg.

Affectionately known as “MOTY”, the prestigious awards ceremony recognises pioneers within the country who shape our cultural landscape and continue to push the boundaries. From artists to humanitarians, innovators to designers, comedians and entrepreneurs, GQ South Africa and Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège, celebrated the best talent from South Africa and Africa.

“I can safely say that in the 22 years we’ve been around as GQ, 2021 Men of the Year shows how diverse we are, not only as a brand and who we showcase and celebrate but also how diverse the people who shape our culture are. Everyone we acknowledged today epitomises excellence and inspiration. We’re truly honoured to have been able to do this for the third year in a row,” said GQ Editor-in-Chief Molife Kumona.

The Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Lifetime Achievement Award – Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse

The show was hosted by GQ Editor in Chief and Claire Mawisa and included performances by the likes of Siki Jo-An, Sauti Sol and the third recipient of the Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Lifetime Achievement award, Sipho ‘Hotstix” Mabuse himself.

One of South Africa’s (and the world’s) most admired and respected musicians, Mabuse is a performance great with an incredible catalogue of original music anchored in Africa from the last three decades. A pioneer within his industry, his impact on the South African music scene cannot be overstated. From the founding of the legendary Kippies nightclub in the heart of Newtown – named one of the world’s 100 greatest jazz clubs by Downbeat magazine – to releasing nine albums, including ‘Burn Out’, which remains one of South Africa’s most cherished tracks to date, Mabuse changed the tune of township funk. The living legend has amassed a considerable trophy cabinet, including the Silver Order of Ikhamanga for his contribution to music.

Stef Kondylis, Market Manager of Moët Hennessy, South Africa, says, “We are honoured to present this prestigious award to Sipho Mabuse. A celebrated musician, Mabuse is an exceptional individual who has shaped the country’s musical identity. Still involved in performance arts to this day, he continues to contribute to the cultural development of many young musicians in the country.”

“Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège has been celebrating the pioneers, the game-changers, the movers, shakers and change-makers for over 200 years. The Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Lifetime Achievement Award and our association with GQ Men of the Year is a way to honour these committed and dedicated South Africans who remain true to Hennessy’s ethos of Never Stop. Never Settle,” concludes Kondylis.

Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse 70th Birthday Celebrations

Music legend ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse celebrates 70th birthday in style | SowetanLive

Star reflects on high notes, lessons of his career


Music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse celebrates his 70th birthday at 1947 On Vilakazi, in Soweto.

Music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse celebrated his 70th birthday in style at the plush 1947 on Vilakazi Street restaurant in Soweto yesterday. 

The intimate celebration included Mabuse’s close friends and relatives, record label associates as well as celebrity guests like radio maestro Wilson B Nkosi. There was even a special birthday shoutout from sport, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa. 

Mabuse beamed with joy as he reflected on the wonderful memories that he created with his guests.  

From touring the world with his band Harari during apartheid to sharing the stage with big names such as Stevie Wonder, Mabuse said he has lived a life he never imagined.

Mabuse told S Mag that age should not define a person.  

“I don’t feel that I am 70 years old. I hear the age being told to me but I don’t feel anything like 70. Maybe it’s because I don’t know what being 70 should feel like,” Mabuse said.

“To me, age is just a number because growth happens on a daily basis. It was only when the idea for a birthday celebration came that I thought to myself that oh, I am 70 years old.

Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse celebrates his 70th birthday at 1947 On Vilakazi in Soweto with close family and friends in attendance.
Alon Skuy
Music icon Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse at his 70th birthday.
Alon Skuy

“My manager also mentioned that because I am 70, we needed to throw a celebration. We first celebrated in Cape Town two weeks ago… we were celebrating what I have contributed to the music industry.”

With a career spanning more than 50 years and a catalogue of nostalgic hits like Burn Out, Mabuse holds that he still has a lot more to contribute to the music industry.  

He recalled one of his most memorable career moments when he first started as a drummer with the soul group The Beaters (later renamed Harari) – a name derived from his greatest inspiration, The Beatles in the 1970s.

“I was in high school when my group and I toured Zimbabwe. We modelled ourselves as The Beaters and for the first time, a South African band was being signed with an international record company. I’ve also had three signings with different record companies – those, for me, are some of the greater milestones in my career,” Mabuse said. 

Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse turned 70 yesterday.
Image: Alon Skuy

Another memorable moment was sharing a stage with Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin.

“I mean, what can one ask for if you’ve lived a life that I have. It’s been an amazing career,” Mabuse gushed.

With the many lessons he has learnt along his journey, Mabuse mentioned that the most valuable was to never neglect one’s responsibilities.

“Sometimes we get so caught up in what we do that we forget that we have more responsibilities to other people than ourselves,” Mabuse said.

“If there would’ve been a better way of reaching out and raising my children, that would’ve been one of the things I would’ve done differently but I guess with what I was doing as a musician I became so oblivious of those responsibilities. However, I am glad I have great relationships with my children.”ADVERTISING

Mabuse added that he wanted to be remembered for having contributed to people’s lives musically and how his music made them feel.

“I was very young when Nelson Mandela went to prison. I was a part of a group of children who accompanied their parents when passes were being burnt,” Mabuse said.

“I was still here when Mandela came out of prison and I was able to vote. I was still here to say to Mandela thank you and farewell, including Mama Winnie and many more. That, for me, is a blessing on its own.”    

IN PICS | Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse celebrates 70th birthday in style with close friends, family | Timeslive

Jazz icon Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse was as stylish as always at his 70th birthday celebration at 1947 On Vilakazi Street in Soweto on Tuesday.
Image: Alon Skuy

SA jazz legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse celebrated his 70th birthday in style at 1947 On Vilakazi Street in Soweto on Tuesday. 

Close friends and family joined Mabuse for the intimate birthday celebration at the stylish restaurant in the heart of Soweto.

The 70 year-old looked stylish as always in a navy blue suit, and was all smiles while enjoying everyone’s company. 

Mabuse’s music career kicked off in the mid-1970s when he was a member of the Beaters Afro-soul band and he toured Zimbabwe.

Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse celebrated his 70th birthday with close family and friends.
Image: Alon Skuy
Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse with former SA military commander and politician Siphiwe Nyanda.
Image: Alon Skuy
Jazz icon Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse enjoying a moment of silence.
Image: Alon Skuy
Jazz legend Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse was all smiles when he celebrated his 70th birthday in Soweto.
Image: Alon Skuy
Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse with photographer Siphiwe Mhlambi during the birthday celebration for the jazz legend on Tuesday.
Image: Alon Skuy
Man of the moment Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse at his 70th birthday celebration at 1947 On Vilakazi Street in Soweto on Tuesday.
Image: Alon Skuy

After the Zimbabwe tour the group changed its name to Harari and Mabuse was lead singer. 

The legend has worked with a long list of musicians who are equally accomplished, including the late songbird Miriam Makeba, late African jazz legends Hugh Masekela and Ray Phiri and the late songstress Sibongile Khumalo.

He has kept South Africans dancing to some of his most popular songs such as Burn Out, which has sold more than 500,000 copies. 

Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse on turning 70: ‘I don’t feel like I’m 70, I’m just aware now’ | TSHISALIVE


SA music icon Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse celebrated his 70th birthday at 1947 On Vilakazi in Soweto. Close family and friends were in attendance.
SA music icon Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse celebrated his 70th birthday at 1947 On Vilakazi in Soweto. Close family and friends were in attendance. Image: Alon Skuy

Legendary jazz and pop musician Sipho Hotstix Mabuse is not scared of ageing, nor is he any less aware that he feels and looks younger than he should. 

Dressed in a suave classic blue suit at his intimate party at Soweto on Tuesday, Hotstix exuded a kind of energy that was calm and poised as he warmly greeted and mingled with his guests.

Surrounded by friends and family, he was elated at the milestone, considering that on his father’s side of the family they have barely reached that age before they passed.  

He had a sit-down with TshisaLIVE to count his blessings, as he has been “walking in the footsteps of giants”. Ageing comes with a sense of awareness, something the musician is conscious of.  

“I don’t feel like I’m 70, I think it’s just perhaps I’m aware now, but I don’t actually feel it. I think the kind of lifestyle I’ve led has made me feel more comfortable with my progressing years so, I’ve never really felt older than what I should be.”

With a career spanning more than 50 years, he refuses to believe that he has reached his pinnacle and also refuses to don the hat of musical genius.

“I wish I was,  I think there are people who are more talented and with more genius that one could always refer to. I thought Ray Phiri was a genius; when I listened to some of the music that man created, I thought you can only be the best if you can be like that man.”

At the beginning of the intimate do, a list of musicians was read out, and a deafening silence filled the room, as the names of great musicians who have now passed was listed. Hotstix was paying homage to extraordinary colleagues who had served as inspiration for his music. 

He credits his staying power to his inventiveness. 

“I’ve been a privileged musician … when one is able to interact with all different kinds of people, especially in the music industry, they have different types of music – it can only be part of my inventiveness, they helped me along the way. You know there is a saying that you walk in the steps of the giants.

“I’ve always found myself walking in the footsteps of these giants that SA has produced and in a way that has kept me going for some time. I also believe that because I am a focused person, if I made a choice to become a musician, I can only be a product of what my vocation is, unless of course I found myself wanting.”

Hotstix took a trip down memory lane to his impressionable years when he created Thaba Bosiu, a song he said was a fan favourite

“I was motivated, perhaps inspired, by this traditional music of the healers as a drummer. I was a youngster, I think that era was my impressionable age where this traditional music of healers inspired me to become what I am.”

 “Now the music  industry is changing and will always present new ideas and thoughts. I’m not adverse to new ideas or to working with people who have new ideas and thoughts in the music industry, and I think through that, I’ve always learned that I can also reinvent myself throughout. I’ve never allowed dictates of the industry to determine how I create my music – the music should speak for itself.”

Bra Sipho Hotstix’s 70 birthday candles will never Burnout in our hearts

Published by capeetc on October 19, 2021

It was a magical night celebrating your 70th birthday when we forgot the troubles of the last 20 months for a few hours in each other’s company – all while a local government elections was looming. We needed this break, Bra Sipho, writes Gasant Abarder in the latest #SliceofGA.

Abarder, who recently launched his book, Hack with a Grenade, is among the country’s most influential media voices. Catch his weekly column here, exclusive to Cape {town} Etc.

At some point, we all fantasise about having the perfect dinner guests around. Who would you invite if you can have a room full of awesome South Africans in one place?

Last Wednesday, that fantasy became a reality as those nearest and dearest to a legend gathered to celebrate his 70th birthday. Music icon Sipho ‘Hotstix’ has that kind of pull. His longstanding manager Martin Myers and artist wife Razia Myers pulled off a masterstroke at a stunning Atlantic Seaboard setting (albeit a few weeks before Sipho’s actual birthday on November 2).

Gasant Abarder, Sipho ‘Hotstix’ and Laylaa Abarder.

To mention a few: aspirant mayor Brett Herron, Premier Alan Winde, veteran photojournalist Rashid Lombard, talk show host Pippa Hudson, the who’s who of the music industry, poet Siphokazi Jonas, WP cricket CEO Michael Canterbury, singer, actor and songwriter Alistair Izobell, my favourite journos Lance Witten and Robin Adams paying tribute to Bra Sipho. With DJ Wicksy providing the soundtrack.

Sipho ‘Hotstix’ with Rashid Lombard.

It was a magical night when we forgot the troubles of the last 20 months for a few hours in each other’s company – all while local government elections was looming. We needed this break. And, yes, Leeuwenhof is still haunted, according to our province’s first lady Tracy Winde!

I had first crossed paths with Bra Sipho in 2016 when I interviewed him for a profile to mark his 50th year on the music scene. He is no ordinary musician as his activism conscientised hearts and minds during our liberation struggle.

His set at the Concert in the Park with his band Harari, that drew more than 120 000 to Ellis Park, is etched in our minds. Just a year earlier, he released Burnout, which can so easily be the top search result when you google: “What is a uniquely South African sound?”

He gave a South Africa that was on its knees in 1985 then, what his birthday guests were experiencing now: the tonic to help us celebrate ourselves despite our difficulties and differences.

At the birthday party, Sipho’s aura was palpable. In response to the many glowing birthday tributes, he told Alan Winde to roars of laughter: “Firstly, my vote is my secret! I won’t let you know who I’ll be voting for. If you thought by coming here it was going to sway my thinking…”

He then went on to say in his modest way: “I’m truly honoured that the people who are here tonight, mean so much to me. Everyone who is here have had an impact on my life, either way. I do not believe I would have been where I am had it not been for the people who are here today.

Sipho “Hotstix’ Mabuse

“I consider myself a privileged black person. I will emphasise that. It’s not always easy when you come from a township to be surrounded by great minds. Minds that will always say, ‘We recognise what you do and we’re going to help you advance what you’re doing.’

“That, for me, has been one of the best opportunities to have interacted with the people who are in this house today… when you have people who are always nudging you and wishing you well to do things, you get the strength and the power from those who believe in you. You are in my heart, in my brain, in my space.”

That may be true, Bra Sipho. But you have done so much more for us. It was your story of completing your matric at the age of 60 that moved me to go back to school in 2017 and complete my degree. You kept in touch and followed my progress. And the power of your heartfelt message when I had COVID was a massive gesture that helped my recovery.

Then, in a moment I will never forget, walking into my Joburg book launch last December to make a good event a great one by contributing so brilliantly to the conversation.

It is us – the guests at the Cape Town leg of your party – who were privileged to have you in our lives along with the million others you have touched around the world in the course of your life. We’re delighted that you’re releasing new music just in time for Christmas on the back of 300 million impacts across 62 radio stations since 2015. Holder of The Order of Ikhamanga: Silver for excelling in the field of arts, culture and music. Part owner of our hearts.

You are a national treasure, Sipho Cecil Peter ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse. Happy birthday, legend!

Gasant Abarder, Sipho “Hotstix’ Mabuse

Pictures: Gasant Abarder

Inside Sipho Hotstix Mabuse’s 70th birthday celebrations


Surprise cocktail party for Sipho Hotstix Mabuse in Camps Bay ahead of his upcoming 70th birthday on November 2. Martin Myers, Sipho Hotstix Mabuse and artist, Dennis Woest. Picture : Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
Surprise cocktail party for Sipho Hotstix Mabuse in Camps Bay ahead of his upcoming 70th birthday on November 2. Martin Myers, Sipho Hotstix Mabuse and artist, Dennis Woest. Picture : Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

By Robin Adams 

The 70th birthday celebrations for one of South Africa’s most legendary musical talent’s, Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, has officially begun.

The big day isn’t until November 2, but friends and industry colleagues took advantage of his brief visit to Cape Town on Wednesday night to throw him a surprise cocktail party in Bakoven.

Politicians, music minds, journalists, friends and family – a small group of guests were lucky enough to crack an invite to this exclusive gathering.

Mabuse’s daughter Naledi and husband Mandla Sibeko jetted in from Johannesburg to surprise her dad.


“I am so humbled,” Hotstix Mabuse told Weekend Argus. “I didn’t expect this. When you’re surrounded by such wonderful people, it just makes you feel very special. And tonight is just wow! I didn’t know I mean so much to my fellow South Africans. And I am grateful for that.”

It was a night where political rivalries were put aside. GOOD’s mayoral candidate Brett Herron arrived without his boxing gloves, while Western Cape Premier Alan Winde of the DA, exchanged pleasantries with guests. The campaigning ahead of November 1’s local government elections took a backseat.

And it was all for Mabuse, one of the most recognisable names in South African entertainment. His association with his current record label Gallo, stretches back 50 years.

Martin Myers, the event organiser, said: “I think it was an incredible evening of warmth, generosity and celebration. It was the coming together and energy of people. And the love that South Africans have for Sipho, and particularly in Cape Town. It is wonderful now to celebrate icons who are alive.”

The almost-70 year old Mabuse was presented with a one-of-a-kind plaque from a South African music monitoring company which had meticulously tracked the impacts and number of radio plays Mabuse’s music got over a six-year period. That number is an eye watering 300 million plays, and it is that number that is splashed all across this incredible plaque.

And if that birthday gift wasn’t special enough, Mabuse was also handed a larger than life portrait of himself. This was the second version by Dennis Woest. The first was stolen from an art gallery in Durban in 2016.

And what would any celebration be without Mabuse’s most famous tune, “Burn out”? It truly is a song that has stood the test of time. Even he still gets “excited” when the DJ spins this early 1980s classic. “It’s still humbling that people after these years still relate to the song the same way. When I was filming a commercial the other day, and how the little kids were responding to the song, that for me does it all.”

Fans will be delighted to know that Mabuse is releasing new material soon. He’s tight lipped on the details. “There’s new music coming out. Just wait for it!”